Am I justified in not wanting to see/speak to my father again?

Yes there are two sides to every story. Which doesn’t mean though that OP has to leave a place in his life for his father or seek a place in his father’s, as you’d probably agree.

It isn’t an absolute, but I believe parents and kids do owe each other to try mightily to have a reasonable relationship as adults, much beyond what they’d do with people outside the family. That’s a cultural value I hold, not everybody has to, and ‘try mightily’ doesn’t mean ‘absolutely no matter what’.

Personally I’ve been in rocky relationships as father and son. I wasn’t estranged from my dad but I wasn’t close to him, and didn’t really respect him, in my adult life based on how his substance abuse problem hurt me as a kid (I don’t claim my reaction as kid or adult was free of fault either). And my wife and I both had a pretty rocky relationship with our oldest kid from mid teens to mid 20’s, with roots earlier. Again I’d say it was mainly the kid trying to be impossible (the kid would now agree), but I wasn’t blameless: I regret things I said. Now we have a great relationship. But it was never as damaged as my relationship with my dad. And I’m not saying OP’s relationship with dad is repairable: I couldn’t possibly know that.

Never touched a drug in my life.

But the reason I ask this is because my sister sent me a message, asking me to wish my father a happy father’s day. She said that it would make his day, and that he thinks about me a lot.

Mother has been deceased for 14 years. I have two sisters. We message each other over FB occasionally, but that’s about the extent of our communication. My father has had a GF since 2010, she’s a good woman who seems to genuinely care for me, it’s a shame I don’t talk to her more often.

Man, that’s tough right there though, hearing that from your sister.

Originally I was just going to suggest that you never contact him again, but talk to him if he initiates the contact and appears to be truly interested in reconciliation of some kind.

After reading that though, I don’t know. I just got home from my parents house with my sons for Father’s Day dinner and my dad and I don’t always get along so well, but…it’s still my Dad.

I am sorry you are in this situation. Maybe give him one last try for the Gipper? Just a quick “Happy Father’s Day” text and see what happens next?

I’d probably hear him out, if he made the effort to show up where I am. But he’d have to make a pretty damn convincing case for me to want to have him back in my life again. Right now, I’m feeling like it’d be best if he just forgot he ever had a son.

I don’t know what happened between you and your dad, but try a little self check. Would you feel better not to talk to him right now? Would it be a relief not to deal with him? If the answer is “yes”, then don’t. Maybe some day you will want to, and maybe you won’t. It sounds like there’s a lot of pain there. I don’t think you need to force yourself to feel more pain because you’re “supposed” to have a relationship with him.

Keep in touch with his girlfriend if you like. She sounds like someone who means more to you. Keep in touch with your sisters perhaps. Otherwise move on.

What was the disaster at Christmas 2016?

Since he’s the parent, he should act like one and reach out to you. Since he cut off ties, he should be the one to reach out. This sounds like a cycle that feeds his ego. He pushes you away, you come back, he pushes you away, etc. I suspect he wants you to reach out now because he wants to be able to justify his behavior to himself. That is, it’s less about wanting a relationship with you and more about him not wanting to feel guilty anymore.

But it’s a big step to cut a parent out of your life. It might be worth trying to repair the relationship. Put the ball back in his court. Tell your sister that you’d be glad to hear from your dad if he wants to give you a call sometime. Let him take the first step. That will help teach him that if he pushes someone away, he needs to do the work to pull them back. He can’t count on the person coming back on their own.

Also, time might be able to heal these wounds. You don’t have to restore the relationship now if you don’t want. It sounds like you still have some major bad feelings. Several years down the road you both might be different people and feel differently about each other.

Um, it isn’t just about drugs. The point is, we’re only getting your side of the story, and at least a couple of us aren’t willing to just take your side simply because you’re posting here. you said this started ever since you “became a young man.” well, what was your attitude towards your parents at that time? and don’t say “I was a perfect little angel who did everything I was told” because that’s not believable.

I just read Alan Cumming’s memoir Not My Father’s Son. I recommend it. You might forgive your father but you are quite justified in staying away. My best to you, and good luck.

Of course I wasn’t perfect. Did things that I probably shouldn’t have. Didn’t do things that I probably should have, and so on. But I still feel I deserve better than how my father treats me.

Is he mentally trying to mess with you?

Cause if he’s not, if you firmly believe he’s truly an honest man and not trying to mess with you, then even if he’s an asshole he may easily be worth another try.

My take on this is very much like my take on another thing, and that is the fact that everyone you ever meet, or talk with, or swap mail or messages with, there’s an “end game” in progress. That’s because there’s going to be a LAST TIME for whatever encounter that last one was. After the LAST TIME there’s never going to be another time.

At that point I believe it’s all in your court, because you don’t want to be remembered as anything less than the best you could have been at that time.

My dad died in March, 1992, and we hadn’t seen each other for a good while. I saw him the day before he died, and I’d say we reconciled over the stupid stuff he’d done during his 67 years and (at the time) my 40 years. The next day at work my boss told me he was dead, and gave me a hug. Okay. I hope the LAST TIME fixed something or the other.


We may have only the OP’s story, but the fact is some parents are monsters. My father was a great guy. With me, my mother was the evil one, all the way back into my childhood. After she nagged my father to death, she and I had a permanent parting of the ways after I refused to let her do the same to me. She was never happy unless she was making someone miserable. I learned a few years ago she died what was probably a sad and lonely death. My reaction was, “Meh.” She’d chosen her course. So if you feel the need to cut your father out of your life, and you’re sure it is the right choice, don’t let him control you further. Make a clean break but know “permanent” needs to mean “permanent.”

It’s possible that your sister may be being guilted by him into contact with you of this type about how he feels. This depends on your knowledge of him and her.
Personally, I say cut him out. I already can’t justify to myself why I don’t cut my own father out aside from the fact that societal peer pressure is huge and it’s “not that bad”. I dread and loathe every piece of contact with him, and I wish I was more courageous to do it. The excuse I give to everyone around me is that I’m waiting for the inheritance. Really though, I’m just a coward. Like he trained me to be. So if you dread or loathe the idea of contact, or hate it whenever you think of him, just leave him out.

Yeah, but you said you think that parents owe their kids room and board for their entire life. I’m comfortable saying that your expectations aren’t quite in line with most people.

But, still, I would never suggest that anybody allow a toxic relationship to continue. If you feel the relationship isn’t good for you, and that it’s continuation would only lead to more harm for yourself, then that’s the only thing that matters. You are the only one that can answer that.

If you’re being manipulated and guilted and if your other family members are being turned against you…

Well, the old man better be VERY rich, or else it’s not even close to worth it. In fact, that kind of mental suffering is probably never worth it.

There’s a lot more than that in this poster’s posting history that speaks to his having a set of expectations and a filtered reality that might be different than most. It would be surprising to me if dad’s version, and sister’s version, were not both different realities than our OP’s.
OP, you are justified in doing what is best for you, which includes the options of having no contact with your father, to trying to develop a relationship that accepts him with his flaws, or having something in between with contact but of a more controlled and somewhat superficial nature, leaving the door open for gradual increase. Not sure what is best for you and none of us should be so quick to decide for you.

You have previously described yourself as a loner with life imposed upon you by your parents, who views life as “deficient”, and who is upset over how much you’ve spent on prostitutes for poor sex with little comprehension that a romantic relationship would be other than spending money to get sex. The picture you paint of yourself here is of someone with few to no meaningful relationships and it is not clear whether or not you want any or see value in them.

Do you want ties to other people? How would doing small contacts with your father, not staying in his house and not even being in a circumstance in which he would have the opportunity to criticize/express his concerns/whatever make you feel? Would doing something that made him feel slightly better that was small, accepting that the two of you need to have limited contact because too much contact just does not work, make you feel a bit better about yourself or worse?

My take of no real value is that if you cannot answer with confidence that such would be for the worse then erring on having such contact is likely the better choice. FWIW.
No, money you may get from him would not be in any way what would make it worth it.

The advice you get in this thread will be much more helpful the more honest details you give about your relationship. The answers about your past relationship have been pretty vague, so it’s hard for us to understand and give relevant advice. Many of us have had tumultuous relationships with our parents, but we can’t know if our experiences relate to yours if we don’t know the specifics about what really happened.

This situation is highly emotional and there’s no clear answer. Any choice you make will have major pros and cons. The better informed we are, the better advice you’ll get.

Immediately thought of this meme.

OP, of course you are justified to make this decision.

I never got people who ask this question. I know “Family” is a bigger deal for some people. They let those that they are related to do shit to them that would get a stranger arrested. Sometimes for years and even decades. Makes no sense to me.

No one should ever submit to abuse from anyone. Makes no difference if you are related. You did the right thing and should have no qualms about pretending he doesn’t exist. Just forget it and move on. Life’s too short to let toxic people ruin a day of it, much less years.